Well this was a pleasant development.
Over the weekend, I mentioned that it would make sense for the Chicago Cubs to take a look at recently-released outfielder Ryan Sweeney, who was bumped out in Boston after the emergence of super prospect Jackie Bradley, Jr. It made sense to the Cubs, too, because they’ve reportedly signed him to a minor league deal.
The Cedar Rapids Gazette reports that Sweeney inked his deal with the Cubs this afternoon, and he’ll head to AAA Iowa to serve as quality outfield depth.
Here’s what I said about Sweeney this weekend:
The Red Sox are letting 28-year-old outfielder Ryan Sweeney go, and I wonder if he might be an interesting pick-up for the Cubs on a minor league deal, if that’s the best he can find. Right now, the Cubs’ AAA outfield depth consists of Brian Bogusevic (if he sticks with the Cubs), Darnell McDonald (if he sticks with the Cubs), Jae-Hoon Ha (a very young player who isn’t ready for the bigs), and, of course, Brett Jackson, whom the Cubs would prefer not to call up until he’s ready, rather than in a pinch. Seems like there’s a pretty wide opening and need for Sweeney as depth. He really struggled in Boston after being dealt by the A’s last year, but, hey, depth-ers can’t be choosers. He’s good defensively, can play all over the outfield, bats lefty, doesn’t strike out, sees a lot of pitches … I’d like him in the organization. Smart money says the Cubs are feeling him out.
That’s Sweeney in a nutshell. He’s not going to be a difference-maker at the big league level, but he could absolutely still be a contributor off of the bench. He provides the Cubs nice cover in the event that an injury or trade occurs at the big league level before Brett Jackson is ready.
This is the kind of subtle move that I really love about this front office.